With fireworks in and outside the ring and with the sounds of banda and mariachi music feeling the night sky, Mexicali, Baja California Norte, Mexico, celebrated the re-inauguration of the Plaza Calafia with a marathon fight card presented by Erik “Terrible” Morales’ Box Latino in association with the city of Mexicali. The famous bullring was damaged during an earthquake last year and the city spared no expense in preparing the venue for its return as well as the return of boxing to the northern Mexico border town. In the main event, Pedro “Pedrin” Guevara (16-0-1, 12KOs) remained undefeated as he defended his NABF light flyweight title versus local favorite Manuel “Menny” Jimenez (11-2-1, 5KOs). The scheduled twelve round bout was featured live on Mexican channel Televisa.
Guevara captured the vacant title in his last bout against Colombian Jorle Estrada via seventh round TKO while “Menny” was coming off his first professional loss suffered against Mario “Dragoncito” Rodriguez, a fighter that Guevara struggled against to earn a draw earlier this year.
Both began the bout very tactful as neither of them wanted to show his cards to soon. Jimenez pulled ahead at the end of the first with a hard straight right hand almost at the sound of the bell that surprised Guevara. The action continued much the same way in the second with both fighters being very cautious while the Mexicali crowd grew anxious in seeing some action. Jimenez scored sporadically while he pot shot Guevara who kept his guard up. Guevara began to slightly pick up the pace near the end of the round but Jimenez was able to defend himself successfully.
Things began to heat up in the third as both began to throw more punches. Both began to score with hard combination punches mostly to the head with Guevara’s getting there a bit quicker during the difficult round to score. Guevara began to press more in the fourth while Jimenez countered successfully. Despite Jimenez’s counter attack, Guevara kept pushing forward until the end of the round.
During the rest prior to the fifth round, the doctor was called to Jimenez’s corner as he complained of pain in his left hand. The glove was removed and the hand was inspected and soon after the ringside doctor halted the action. Official time was: 10 of the fifth round.
“Chato” Robles Captures Belt
In the semi-main event, Mexicali brawler Armando “Chato” Robles (18-1-1, 10KOs) successfully won the vacant WBC super lightweight WBC FECARBOX title against the hesitant Ivan “Zurdo” Alvarez (12-3, 9KOs) of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico.
The hard charging Robles didn’t hesitate from the get go as he began to stalk the back tracking Alvarez from the sound of the opening bell. With chants of “Chato” ringing through the plaza, the heavily tattooed Robles took control early as he followed Alvarez around the ring and scoring to the head and body. The comfortable Robles kept scoring and in the third landed a hard right hand that caused Alvarez nose to bleed. Alvarez just didn’t seem to get his composure in the early rounds as he was more worried about avoiding Robles’ hard charge than actually scoring points himself.
It wasn’t until the fifth round that Alvarez began to hold his ground and began to put together punches together instead of just using his jab in hopes of keeping the come forward “Chato” at bay. Alvarez began to string together the seventh and eighth round as he began to box Robles from the outside instead of just circling the perimeter while Robles tried to slow him down.
By the ninth round, it looked as if Alvarez was going to run away with the fight or at least make it very competitive as his boxing skill far over shadowed Robles’ raging bull style as the crowd favorite began to tire. Robles got his second wind in the ninth and although perhaps Alvarez won the round, it seemed apparent that Robles was ready to close the show. “Chato” stepped on the gas in the eleventh and twelfth and punctuated the win by landing the best punch of the fight in the closing moments of the fight when he scored a hard straight right hand right to the chin of Alvarez which wobbled the Ciudad Obregon fighter but he remained on his feet until the final bell.
After twelve rounds, judges Juan Carlos Pelayo, Manuel Rincon and Ricardo Briseño all saw it the same way with scores of 118-110 three times for Armando “Chato” Robles.
“Cañerito” Ruiz New Latino WBC Super Featherweight Champ, “Piolo” Castillo Rushed to Hospital
In another bout of interest on the card, former NABF featherweight champ and younger brother of Jose Luis Castillo, Ricardo “Piolo” Castillo (39-11-1, 26KOs) was bludgeoned by Daniel “Cañerito” Ruiz (25-4-1, 19KOs) in the second round of a scheduled twelve rounder. Castillo, originally of Empalme, Sonora, but resident of Mexicali for several years along with his brother, looked overweight as he climbed into the ring a week after his older brother, not Jose Luis, passed away. Despite the tragedy, Castillo stated to the local press days before the event that the show must go on.
Castillo, a fourteen year old veteran, has performed in the shadow of his brother “Temible” Castillo but as 118-126 lbs, “Piolo” established himself as a tough out for the elite of the divisions as Celestino Caballero, Steve Molitor and Juan Carlos Burgos among others used Castillo as a stepping stone or measuring stick for bigger fights.
Ruiz was no exception.
“Cañerito” of boxing factory Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico, gave no quarter as he began to beat Castillo in the first round. Ruiz was able to land punches almost at will although the experienced Castillo was able to land sporadically with his own. The difference in punching power was apparent as Castillo will just get his punches there while Ruiz would land his with a thudding sound and it was apparent that they were hurting Castillo. Castillo’s nose began to bleed half way through the first from a Ruiz upper cut.
The second was much of the same as both fighters went after each other around the ring scoring punches with Ruiz causing the most damage. Castillo seemed to tire that early and near the end of the round after Castillo scored with a volley while Ruiz was trapped against a neutral corner, “Cañerito” was able to pivot around Castillo and deliver a jab that missed but set up a thundering left hook to the chin of Castillo that completely disconnected him from his senses that moment it landed. Castillo slowly crumbled to the ground and found himself sprawled on his back while referee Manuel Rincon waived off the bout and asked for medical assistance. “Piolo” Castillo had to be removed from the ring on a stretcher and was rushed to the hospital for observation.
With the win, Daniel “Cañerito” Ruiz captured the vacant WBC Latino super featherweight title.
Morales Comes Out Clean in Big Test
Ivan “Niño Maravilla” Morales (15-0, 10KOs) keeps fulfilling the Morales family dynasty as he remains undefeated as he did quick work of his first stern test, at least on paper, when Roberto “Pollito” Lopez (30-22-1, 12KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico, quit on his stool after the fourth round in a scheduled super flyweight contest.
Ivan is the younger brother of the four time in as many divisions and current WBC light welterweight Erik “Terrible” Morales and former WBO super flyweight strap holder Diego “Pelucho” Morales who also seconds as his trainer. The thirty-eight year old Lopez has faced a multitude of name fighters in an almost twenty-year old career such as Willie Jorrin, Paulie Ayala, Danny Romero, Mauricio Pastrana, Veeraphol Sahaprom, Fernando Montiel and Olivier Lontchi.
The first round was one of study as Lopez used his still strong legs and experience to control the distance and the pressure of the much taller and lankier southpaw Morales. Morales was still able to score a couple of combinations at the end of the round to take the first stanza since Lopez was more in a defensive mode. Morales had difficulty in the second trying to find Lopez as the grizzled veteran kept moving and not giving Morales a steady target. Morales kept pushing and winning the rounds since Lopez was not trying to score all that much except for an occasional jab.
The punches stared being thrown in the third as Morales began to throw more punches in hopes of slowing down Lopez. Morales found his bearing and succeeded in closing off the ring and scoring while Lopez tried to counter punch him. Half way through the round, Lopez began to shake his left fist ever so often as if it was bothering him.
The fourth stanza was a much closer one as Morales scored better to the body while Lopez was able to counter him to the head. Morales seemed to get the best of the exchanges as Lopez looked bothered by the bodywork.
Just as the bout began to heat up, Lopez failed to answer the bell to initiate the fifth round since as suspected, he left hand was damaged and he was unable to continue awarding Morales the TKO victory with the official time of :10 of the fifth round.
“Cobra” Mendoza Scores Another Knock Out
Hard hitting WBC #9 ranked light flyweight Javier “Cobra” Mendoza (15-2-1, 12KOs) scored another impressive knockout when he stopped Arcadio “Carcadio” Salazar (7-8-2) of Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, at the 2:57 mark of the first round of a scheduled eight. The southpaw Mendoza of Tijuana, Mexico, brought the action and Salazar was not far behind as both began to score punches early in the round. Salazar didn’t seem to be intimidated by the skillful Mendoza and invited him to come in and attack. Salazar also would take the initiative and be first to attack while Mendoza held back and counter punched.
After Mendoza scored with a hard right hook to the left side of Salazar’s torso. Salazar was not impressed and signaled Mendoza to hit him again on the same spot. Unfortunately for Salazar, Mendoza was much smarter than that and as he feinted to throw another right hook, he pivoted and threw a left to the liver that sent Salazar to the canvas and he began to wither in pain on the floor. No count was needed. Official time was 2:57 of the first round.
Chelyabinsk, Russia, native Khabir “Crazy Russian” Suleymanov (12-1, 6KOs) made his Mexico debut when he stopped hard hitting Jorge Guerrero (6-9, 5KOs) of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico, with a stiff right hand to the chin in the first round of a scheduled bantamweight eight.
Suleymanov, who now makes his home in Los Angeles, CA, and trains at the Wild Card Gym by Jesse Arevalo, had not seen action since his close decision loss to Chis Avalos last May, did not show any ring rust as he moved around the ring with ease as he looked for an opening from the straight forward Guerrero. Guerrero, who in his last bout stopped the afore mentioned “Cobra” Mendoza with an impressive knock out, seemed slow compared to the fleet footed Russian. The end came soon enough at the 1:25 mark of the first when Suleymanov maneuvered Guerrero a neutral corner and scored a lead right hand to the chin of Guerrero. The third man in the ring began the count but soon it was apparent that Guerrero was not going to beat the count and waived off the count.
In an all action four super flyweight rounder, Tijuana KO artist Jose Estrella (9-3-1, 8KOs) had all he could handle with San Felipe, Baja California’s Victor “Ranita” Godinez (5-2-1, 3KOs) and lost via a majority decision. Despite winning the first round by scoring the harder more effective punches, Estrella allowed Godinez to use his height and fight from the outside. Godinez was successful as he boxed in and out of range and scored with combination punches while Estrella’s back was against the ropes. Estrella tried to finish up strong in the fourth but it wasn’t enough as Godinez kept boxing to the win. Two judges saw it 39-37 while the third judge saw it an even 38-38.
After struggling early, hometown favorite Cesar “Saba” Vazquez (24-0, 15KOs) stopped southpaw Manuel “Zurdo” Aguilar (17-6, 12KOs) with a punch to the solar plexus in the third round of a scheduled ten in the super featherweight division.
In a bizarre ending, lightweight Ramon “Niño de Oro” Ayala (22-2-1, 11KOs) of Mexico City, Mexico, was awarded a TKO victory over Argentinean Victor “Firu” Corvala (7-18-5, 2KOs) in the first round of a scheduled eight. Before any action heated up, Corvala complained repeatedly of rabbit punches to the back of his head. The taller Ayala was having trouble finding his range while the over matched Corvala had no chance in getting on the inside. After another rabbit punch, Corvala went to his corner and informed his team he was not able to continue. The referee called the ringside doctor and he took it upon himself to waive off the contest. Official time was 2:35.
After dropping Ricardo “Rocky” Armenta (15-13-1, 7KOs) of Agua Prieta, Mexico, in the first, Alberto “Metro” Guevara (14-0, 6KOs) of Mazatlan, Mexico, stopped him in the second with a barrage of punches in bantamweight contest scheduled for six rounds.
Mexico City bantamweight Pedro “Guerrero” Melo (7-2-1, 1KO) won a tough earned split decision win over the always coming, stance switching Sergio “Costeño” Najera of Tijuana, Mexico, in a four rounder. Scores were 58-57 and 58-56 for Melo while the third judge saw it 59-55 for Najera.
Light heavyweights Brian Sanchez (9-0-1, 7KOs) of Mazatlan, Mexico, and Rolando “Indio” Paredes (6-1-2, 6KOs) of Mexicali fought a run of the mill four rounder to a draw.
Mexicali welterweight Jose Zepeda (8-0, 6KOs) looked impressive as he added another KO to his ledger when he scored with a jab followed with a right hand right on the button of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico’s Luis Rey (8-11-1, 5KOs) to end it at the 1:46 mark of the first round scheduled for six.
Local light flyweight Jose Luis “Josesito” Alvarado (4-1, 3KOs) suffered his first loss despite dropping the much more experienced Armando “Chiquita” Vazquez (20-7, 4KOs), also of Mexicali, in the first round of a scheduled four. Alvarado seemed to control the action throughout but the local judged still gave the fight to Vazquez with scores of 38-37 three times.